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** Lost Gold At The Dead Man's Mine ** A Miners Journal **


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 August 2   2002     Part Two

 

   We continued talking with Bill well into the deep night. He was full of stories about mining and the Sierra Nevada mountains. I got quite a kick out of listening to him and I could tell Jacob liked him as well. Bill had no idea who Jacob was or the stories behind all of his dealings out here back in his day.

   Bill had been working and exploring the old drift mine for quite a number of years and according to him he had hit a few good strikes and spent it all on women and whisky. To me it seemed like times hadn’t changed all that much here. Bill was convinced that there was a huge gold strike waiting to be discovered. He told us he thought he knew where the big strike was located higher up the mountain. He had also heard rumors of another tunnel further north at a higher elevation that contained a motherlode. I asked him where he heard this but he wouldn’t say. According to him the guy that had told him had been shot in a poker game in a logging camp out here yrs ago. I didn’t know whether to believe some of the things he was saying or not. Jacob was his usual stoic self like he had heard it all before.

   Along about 2:00 AM all three of us were deep in our cups and Bill was still talking about the gold out here. Then he said in a quiet voice as if to not awaken the ghosts who roamed these claims that he was going to tell us a story that was almost beyond belief. And according to him it took place right here on the mountain above our camp. Jacob rolled one of his smokes and I took a sip from my cup of Bushmills. Then Bill continued. 

   TO BE CONTINUED ...............

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   August 2   2002     Part Three

 

   Bill told us that he had been out here for over twenty years. He had previously prospected up and down the Sierra Nevada mountains looking for the motherlode. The promised land. The glory of a massive find. It consumed his entire life and left him near broke today. But Bill was no quitter. He would prospect this area based on some of the old stories and truly believed it was just a matter of time before he became a millionaire. 

   One night about ten years ago he said he was camped out on the mountain a mile above our camp. It was late Spring and the weather was cold. He was ready to turn in when two prospectors came into his camp. They were filthy dirty and told him they hadn’t eaten in two days. The prospectors had gotten into a fight with a miner up there. They told him that several miles from his camp higher up on the mountain there was a guy who had found big gold. It was an old drift mine and supposedly a huge source of gold was in there. They had tried to partner with the miner and he agreed for a short period of time until they discovered a quartz vein so rich you could take gold out of it by the hatful.

   Now Jacob and I started to perk up some. I saw Jacob’s eyes getting big as saucers. Bill continued to tell us that when the big strike was found the miner dissolved the shaky partnership and ran him off the claim at gunpoint. But not before they had landed a few punches to the miner’s face and hightailed it out with an ore specimen. As a matter of fact, Bill had brought it here to show us. Somehow he had gotten hold of it from the two prospectors and kept it. He had it wrapped in a big towel. Bill set it down on a table near the campfire and slowly opened up the towel. All I could say was holy s… as I fell back in my chair. Jacob’s eyes were glued on the specimen. We had never seen anything like it in our lives. There was a solid streak of gold several inches wide running through the quartz rock. Then Bill continued the story.

   TO BE CONTINUED .................

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 August 2   2002     Part Four

 

   At this point I would have taken Bill’s story with a grain of salt except for the fact that he had a remarkable ore specimen in his possession. Bill continued to tell us that he and one of the prospectors who had been run off went up to this mine. According to the way he told it it would have been five or six months  after the initial discovery. The other prospector had given up on his golden dreams and went back home by then. The remaining prospector decided to show Bill the location in hopes of getting some help.  The mine was way up the mountain a good mile or more and very remote. The prospector used some landmarks to find it. There was no trail and no markers but soon the two of them were standing in what was left of the miner’s camp. It was vacated. There were old cans piled up in one area along with lots of bottles. The prospector continued on past the old camp and after another 100 yards they were at the mine. Or at least what was left of it. The entire entrance had collapsed and been buried by mountain slides from up above. The prospector had ideas of talking to the miner about reforming the partnership along with Bill but obviously the miner was long gone. Eventually Bill and the prospector split up and he never heard from him again except for one little detail - Bill had the ore sample. Bill didn’t want to say how he ended up with it at first but when we pressed him all he said was the prospector had met with some bad luck and gave it to him to show possible investors and that the prospector told him he’d  be back in a month. That was over ten years ago.

   Bill had kept the sample a secret with the hopes of digging out the old mine and had worked at it on and off since that time but never could remove enough of the overburden to make entry. There was supposed to be another entrance on the mountain somewhere but he could not find it. He was getting older now and if he was ever to get into this mine he was going to need help. He offered to take us to the area and show us what he thought needed to be done. He said there was no way to get an excavator up there because of the terrain unless someone took the time to build a road in. He didn’t want to do that as it would mean permitting and the word would get out. He believed the vein was so rich and went so far back in that even hand working it would make us millionaires.

   TO BE CONTINUED .............

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 August 2   2002      Part Five

 

   We continued our talk well into the night. Just the fact that Bill hadn’t been able to make access into the mine after all these years was a big concern to me. Jacob didn’t seem to make much of that point and he figured it would just take a few more people to clear overburden. I made the suggestion of filing for a permit and finding some investors to help get the old mine dug out and operational. This idea was not received well by Jacob and Bill who looked horrified by that idea. Bill said that he wouldn’t want investors telling him what to do and taking some of the gold. Jacob felt the same way. So that plan  was dropped abruptly.

   Jacob’s idea was to form a partnership just on that particular mine with a three way split on expenses and gold. He figured we could hire some help to get the entrance dug out. We would have to keep any information as to possible gold strikes to ourselves. We would need to explain to any hired help that we were just digging out a buried adit that had been abandoned and leave it at that. Once the tunnel was opened the help would no longer be required or if needed we might make one or two of them junior partners. It was all speculation of course and there was no guarantee of any big gold in the buried mine tunnel. That specimen could have been from another location for all we knew. However, I could see that the evil gold fever was beginning to take the three of us for a ride. Possibly a wild ride into unknown territory. 

   TO BE CONTINUED ....................

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You see, it was me & this old man were like desperados waiting for a train lode of gold back then. THIS SONG SURE BRINGS HIM BACK TO LIFE. MY GOOD FRIEND JACOB. 

 

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5 hours ago, GhostMiner said:

You see, it was me & this old man were like desperados waiting for a train lode of gold back then. THIS SONG SURE BRINGS HIM BACK TO LIFE. MY GOOD FRIEND JACOB. 

 

Aren't we all?

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August 2   2002     Part Six

 

   At 3:00 AM we were still talking about this glory mine Bill had informed us of. We had lost all track of time. Jacob suggested that the lower drift mine we had opened might contain the same vein as the upper drift mine Bill told us about. Jacob thought that the vein in the upper mine was richer and possibly the motherlode source for this area. Again, this was all speculation and I was trying my best to keep my feet on the ground and not get carried away by gold fever.

   It was getting pretty late when we finally decided to explore the area up there and make a determination as to any possibility of getting this legendary gold mine open for business once again. We knew it would not be easy if we tried and would require a crew of some tough characters capable of old school work. Would that even be possible? And what if this phantom crew caught wind of a big gold strike? That could mean a run on the area the likes of which we would not be prepared for. We eventually called it a night and tomorrow will be an interesting day for sure.

   TO BE CONTINUED ................

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